Oaxaca, Mazunte, the Zapatista village Oventic, Campeche and Cancun

Hello dear readers. Here we come to the last but one post. The journey is in fact almost to the end. I am in Cancun, a very touristy town, where tomorrow I’ll fly to the legendary Cuba!
Let’s recap the last few days. From San Cristobal I went to Oaxaca, a beautiful city, where I met with Ketty, a friend from my city (Benevento), and her boyfriend Gianluca. We visited Monte Alban where there are the ruins of the most important city of the Toltecs. Then we went to sea in Mazunte, a bit ‘south of Puerto Escondido. We didn’t do many baths because the Pacific, as always, was angry, but the idleness of the village wrapped up nicely.
In the next village, San Agustin, there were waves even higher (whatever Lonely Planet says), spectacular, about 3 meters, while on the beach of Zipolite seemed as if just happened a tsunami. In fact, in earlier days, the storms made big damage.
I went back to San Cristobal with Ketty and Giuanluca, and we visited Oventic, a village about an hour by road, under control of the Zapatistas. Small, there was not much to see except beautiful murals on wooden houses praising the EZLN and the revolution.
After, I left Ketty and Gianluca, and to break the journey from Chiapas to the Yucatan I stopped one day in Campeche, a tidy city, with colorful houses, a beautiful promenade, and walls and bastions built after countless pirate attacks.
And finally in Cancun, I’ve already been here fifteen years ago and walking I can’t figure out if I remember it or if I confuse with other tourist cities made ​​with the same stencil, perhaps in a another continent or planet. Of nice there is only the sea, even the beaches are almost all fake, the sand brought from elsewhere. Another problem: to get to the beach often I had to pass through luxurious hotels full of rich gringos(*).

(*) ”Gringos” is the way in Mexico and Central America the U.S.A citizens are called. Comes from “green go” addressed to the marines.

 

The church of Chamula, near San Cristobal, one of the most evocative places visited during this trip. Inside, the syncretism between the Catholic religion and the ancient Mayan traditions is evident. Unfortunately it was forbidden to take pictures.
Dark, bare of decorations – the only are large flakes of colored cloth hanging from the ceiling. The floor is covered with pine needles and candles, around which sit and pray the faithful, some with chickens to be sacrificed. All around, tables with candles and statues of saints, often dressed in bright colors. There isn’t the altar and the place of honor, top center, is occupied by St. John, because the city is San Juan de Chamula. Even Jesus is in a position less visible, on the left.
Then, just before leaving San Cristobal, I saw in the museum of Mayan medicine that these rituals have very specific rules, such as the number and color of candles to light depending on whether it is to cast the evil eye, the envy, some disease or illness, etc… Rituals that have been handed down orally for thousands of years.

 

The entrance to the church.

 

Storm.

 

Natives.

 

Oaxaca street.

 

Fruit.

 

Inside Oaxaca market.

 

Oaxaca market.

 

Monte Alban, near Oaxaca. For over a millennium was the most important city of the Toltecs. Founded around 500 BC, reached in the early centuries AD a population between 15,000 and 30,000 inhabitants. It was abandoned around 750 A.D.

 

Ketty on the south steps of Monte Alban.

 

The monastery of Apostle Santiago, near Oaxaca. Beautiful, but unfortunately without roof, they never finished it!

 

The Mazunte beach, near Puerto Escondido. The wave almost to my room.

 

Better another beer with friends, there’s always time for swimming.

 

Again in San Cristobal. Three old ladies.

 

The sign in front of Oventic, the village under Zapatista control.

 

At the entrance the Zapatistas ask general information. Sometimes they take the passport during the visit and ask questions to see what is known of the EZLN. To me, Ketty and Gianluca asked only name, nationality and profession, and few minutes later we were in.

 

The Zapatistas take their name from Emiliano Zapata, a leader of the Mexican Revolution of 1910.

 

Woman and child.

 

Zapatist primary school.

 

A little girl of the village.

 

Another little girl.

 

Happiness does not come by itself, let’s walk to it!

 

Sculpture in front of Campeche cathedral.

 

Campeche street.

 

Cloud, Campeche.

 

See you next time for the last episode!

In San Cristobal and its surroundings, Chiapas, Mexico

Hi friends! I am in Mexico, in Oaxaca, where I arrived after a few days in San Cristobal de las Casas, the beautiful city in Chiapas known for having been occupied in 1994 by the Zapatista Army of Liberation national (EZLN). The occupation took place on the day that started the catastrophic economic agreement NAFTA with the United States, which would in effect, already after a short time, brought even more misery for the poor and the indigenous in Mexico.
After several armed clashes with the Mexican army and some agreements with the government (almost never respected by the latter), the EZLN announced the abandonment of armed struggle except in a strictly defensive way. They invited all revolutionary movements of the left in the world to unite in solidarity and work together to resist neoliberalism, as stated in their last official statement, on June 2005, the Sixth Declaration of the Lacandon Jungle .
Some municipalities in Chiapas are under their control.
Anyway, Chiapas is amazing, and San Cristobal charming, with its narrow cobbled streets between colorful houses, the colonial churches, and the indigenous women in colorful dresses carrying their children on the shoulder.
Now I am in Oaxaca, another beautiful city, where I was already fifteen years ago, but I don’t remember much. I met a friend of my city (Benevento), Ketty, and her mate, Gianluca.

 

Last photos of Guatemala, in the Chichicas market, near Lake Atitlan.

 

Mother and sons.

 

People.

 

On the steps of the church.

 

Woman.

 

Market colors.

 

And here in Chiapas, in San Cristobal de las Casas. The city is situated at 2200 meters altitude and is surrounded by mountains.

 

Woman with son.

 

Girls.

 

Often in Chiapas people don’t like being photographed, such as this sprightly old lady who took it particularly badly.

 

A street of San Cristobal.

 

Chickens in the market.

 

Woman at market.

 

Gentlemen dressed in a very particular way in Tenejapa, one of the villages around San Cristobal.

 

I went with two Italian guys, and shortly after a strange guy wanted to guide us. Here insists on having a tip, no one knows why, and indifferent to the protests and wonder of the guys.

 

People in Tenejapa.

 

Family.

 

Little boys.

 

Women.

 

Sister and brother, always in Tenejapa.

 

Again in San Cristobal, a little girl at the market.

 

Woman.

 

The streets are full of cute little girls selling souvenirs. From this one I bought a subcomandante Marcos pen-shaped.

 

Girl selling zebras.

 

Other little girls.

 

Next time I’ll put some photos of San Juan Chamula, a village near San Cristobal, and those of Oaxaca.
Hasta luego! :-)

I answer the comment.
Hi Kaliopi! My camera is Canon 450d. At the end is nothing of special, it is not even considered semi-pro, but just amateur, and now is 4 years old.
I use 2 lens: Canon 28-135 and Sigma 10-20.
I’m shooting in RAW that gives more flexibility in the post-processing. And of course I use a little of Photoshop, especially for contrast and sharpening.
Let me know if you need more info.
Thank you, kisses… I hope to meet you again somewhere! :-)